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Wine continues to be a favorite drink of people of all ages. Whilst you may think more of the taste and flavour of your treasured wine, size of the bottle remains fundamental to enjoy the nectar till the hilt.  

Wine bottles are generally seen in all shapes and sizes. Matter of fact, there have been new shapes and designs of bottles released by consummate wine makers. As you plan to cellar your wine bottles, you ought to choose wine racking system that fit in properly bottles of different dimensions.

However, standard dimensions for which wine racking systems are formed is 750 ml wine bottles. But you can get exclusively-made wine racks from Cable Wine systems. Whether it is the material or the size, you can expect a wide variety of the wine bottles to be stacked in the finest wine racking systems.  

Explore and find the most suitable wine racking systems to pursue your interest in storing wines. For storing the whole gamut of wine bottles, cellar cubes and bin racks are always a great solution.

Below is a breakdown of the different wine bottle dimensions and the type of racking needed to accommodate. We’ve included wine racking recommendations to help point you in the right direction.

Wine has been drank for centuries. As much as wine has evolved for years, the size and shape of the wine bottles have undergone a change that may or may not attract everyone of us. Curiously, the historic convention for naming wine bottle sizes is after biblical kings!

As with many parts of the aesthetics of wine, nomenclature for wine bottle formats reconnects us to the structures of wine culture. Wine has long been a living part of our history and day-to-day lives, and so unsurprisingly the bottle names are connected to one of our oldest written documents.

Here is a quick overview of different bottle sizes.

87.5 ml: Split

Piccolo or split is a quarter of standard 750 ml. It is a handy little bottle containing a single glass of wine. These are about 7 ½ inches tall and 2 ½ inches wide.

375 ml: Half
Also known as demi, this bottle accommodates one-half of the standard size and contains about 2 glasses of wine. These are 9 ½ inches tall and 2 ¼ inches in width.

750 ml: Standard
This is the most common bottle size containing about  five glasses. Its convenience and comparatively less prices than larger formats makes it one of the most sought after size of bottles. It is 11 ½ – 13 inches tall and 3 inches wide.

1.5 L: Magnum
It holds about a litre and a half of wine or two standard 750 ml bottles. Its dimensions may vary vaguely but the customary dimensions offer a height of 14 inches and a width of 4 inches.

2.25 L: Marie Jeanne

This is equivalent to 3 standard 750 ml bottles, or one magnum and one standard bottle. The height is similar to the standard bottle whereas the width varies slightly accompanied with a thicker neck.

3 L: Jeroboam or Double Magnum
As the name states, it holds about two bottles of Magnum or four standard 750 ml bottles. The 18 inch tall and 5 inches wide bottle is used to accommodate sparkling wine.

4.5 L: Rehoboam
It contains about six standard 750 ml bottles or a magnum and double magnum. This is primarily used for champagne. It is 19 ½ inches tall and 5 inches broad.

6 L: Imperial
Imperial magnum or Methuselah accommodates about eight standard 750 ml bottles or 3 double magnums. It stands about 22 inches tall. The primary difference between the two is that Methuselah is used to hold champagne and is shaped similar to a burgundy bottle

And now the grand ones!

9 L: Salmanazar
It accommodates about 12 standard 750 ml bottles and stands at 2 feet tall. It is a full case of wine and absolutely breaks the ice at any party.

12 L: Balthazar
It accommodates 16 standard 750 ml bottles and stands about 28 inches tall.

15 L: Nebuchadnezzar
Named after the  King of Babylon, this is the equivalent of 20 standard 750 ml bottles. These are about 31 inches tall.

18 L: Melchior
It holds about 24 standard 750 ml bottles. It is a rare one to find and stands about 3 feet tall.

Other lesser known bottles are Solomon(20 L), Sovereign(25 L), Primat or Goliath(27 L), Melchizedek or Midas(30L), Maximus(130 L).

What Large Wine Bottles Mean To You?

These large format bottles often come with a hefty price tag than standard bottles collectively due to their superior quality. Large format bottles have thicker glass as compared to standard sized bottles. This helps in protecting the wine from its nemesis like heat, light, oscillations while travelling and varied temperatures and helps in steady aging.

Large format bottles enable the wine to age slowly as compared to small bottles. The slow aging imparts a depth and complexity to the flavors which is absent in small format bottled wines. This is due to smaller surface to air ratio between the wine and the bottom of the cork, also knowns ullage.

Corks are permeable so they permit a small amount of oxygen inside the wine bottle. This oxygen alters the taste and color of wine over time by causing the wine to breakdown and develop a nutty and umami flavour, especially in red wine lowering down the acidity.

In large format bottles, this amount of oxygen is meager for such a large quantity of wine and hence, the oxidation is slow leading to better maturation. However, in small format bottles, there is sufficient amount of oxygen available to oxidize the entire quantity speeding up the aging process.

Too much oxygen can oxidize the wine as seen in small format bottles. The white wine lose its vibrancy and turns brown whereas the red wine develops a rusty orange color. They often develop a flat and rotten fruit like taste. Unfortunately, this process cannot be reversed so it has to be consumed at earliest otherwise it may get spoiled.

Apart from pricing, there are certain other disadvantages of large format bottles. For instance, it is quite strenuous and back breaking to pour a glass from such massive bottles. Moreover, the corks for these bottles are custom made and there is a likelihood that the proportion might be imperfect. In such cases, the wine may not age aptly.

Another drawback is that these bottles are difficult to store and maintain at a proper temperature. Storing the bottles upright is also not an option as it dries up the cork and loosens the seal permitting  more oxygen to enter and spoil the wine. However, this complication can be sorted out with customized wine racking systems from Cable Wine Systems .

It is not only the size that varies in wine bottles as they come in different shapes too. The shapes of these bottles have been evolving from past few hundred years to ampt the interest of the wine connoisseurs.  

Earlier, barrels and hand blown glasses were used to store and serve the wine. It wasn’t until the late 16th century and the invention of coal furnace and cork brought forth the use of wine bottles to store and transport. However, due to their round shape, they were difficult to store.

Today’s bottles, in contrast, are shaped logically. The most frequent styles of bottles that are used are listed below.

Burgundy

It was the foremost to gain popularity amongst other shapes. These bottles have a slightly wider base than the Bordeaux bottles, with gently sloping shoulders as this was easier for glassmakers to create. They are typically used for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Bordeaux

These have straight sides and high, distinct shoulders and came right after the Burgundy variety. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the most common Bordeaux wines. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the most popular wines of Rhone valley preferes the variation of this shape for their wine.

Alsace/Moselle

These are taller, thinner and much more delicate than other bottles, with gently sloping shoulders and small punts. Wines in these bottles are typically dry and sweet. Traditionally, these bottles are preferred for wines from Mosel (Germany) and Alsace (France) regions.

Champagne

These bottles are sturdy as compared to all others to accommodate the high-pressure contents. The pressure can reach upto 80 to 90 psi which is 3 times to that of a tire. It has a thick glass, gentle sloping shoulders and  a deep punt. The deeper punt helps in pouring the wine effortlessly.

No matter what shape you choose, you need to store them sideways in order to protect them from degrading. Customized wine racking systems from Cable Wine Systems help you protect your wine from losing its natural flavour, regardless of the shape or size whilst you show off your prized possessions.

To conclude….

Is bigger really better? Indeed yes. Although the price may dent your pocket, but it is worth for such rarity, longevity and quality of a wine.  Adding a large format bottle can help you built a rare collection and bringing these bottles on a special occasion will surely get everyone’s attention.

Explore the umpteenth variety of wine racks to take the pleasure of storing your favored  wine to another level this and many more seasons to come.

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